Keeping your customers on your page and getting them to buy rather than just browse is obviously critical. There are many tricks and tips to getting people to come to your site, but when it comes to getting them to stay or buy something, time is money.
Getting Visitors to Stay on Your Website:
When a searcher decides to click on your website, you have won the first major victory, but visitors are very fickle and it is easy to click the back button. The textbooks say you have 15 seconds, I think that is too long, I think you have to hook visitors in the first 3 seconds.
In order to hook them you have to know what they are thinking. Searchers click on a link and hope it has what they are looking for. They hope that the site is 1- Safe, 2- The right type of site for them, and 3- The best site for their needs.
Your site has to communicate the answer to these questions within those 3 seconds. If you can do that your visitors will breathe a sigh of relief and resolve to stick around and see what you have to offer. Too often websites ignore this first stage of the buying process and visitors bail on an unfriendly site before they really see what the site has to offer.
This fear can be assuaged easily by telling every visitor who sees your site at first glance who you are. Remember visitors will not read a paragraph to find out who you are or assume that your site is a safe place to shop. Find a way to tell clients who you are within a second or two and they will stick around for another second or two.
2- The Right Type of Site
If I want to buy boots and I search for “cowboy boots” what type of sites will I get? There are sites that want to sell me a pair of boots. There are sites that want to sell me a cowboy boot franchise, there are sites that want to tell me all about the history of cowboy boots. Find a way to tell me that you are selling cowboy boots at reasonable prices within the first second or two and I will stick around for another second or two.
3- The Best Site for My Needs
Now that I know who you are and what you do, you have a second or two to make me think that this site offers me something I won’t find on every other site. Remember there are billions of websites, lots of them sell what you sell. Why should I listen to you for a second? There has to be something that makes you a better choice than someone else or you won’t sell anything. Free shipping, top quality or great customer service. Find a way to tell me what makes your website unique in a second or two and I will stick around and give you a fair chance to sell me something.
If you can answer these three questions within my short attention span I will hear what your website has to say, which is the second major victory for a website. Now it’s up to you to sell me your product.
Getting Visitors to Buy From Your Website:
Getting a client to buy a product in the real world is the job of your salesman. A good salesman knows everything about his product, the competition and the industry. He knows why his product is the best product for you. Your website is your salesman, your showroom and your cashier.
First, a salesman talks a lot, and your website should too. Make sure that if there is information a person needs to make the decision, it is there and readily available. Make sure you phrase this information in a way that highlights the positive. Don’t try to deceive your visitors, but don’t point out flaws. Example: “batteries not included” highlights a reason not to buy from me. “Requires batteries, click here to add batteries to your order. ” highlights the convenience of shopping online. There is always a way to phrase things in a positive light. No one will be fooled into thinking that my products come with free batteries, but they also won’t be fooled into leaving my site without the batteries they need.
Studies have shown that as many as half of the people that come to your site wanting to buy something are turned away not by high prices or bad products, but by a technical problem (or perceived technical problem) with the site! Sales lost due to dead links, shopping carts not hooked to processors and out of stock products are unacceptable losses in the retail world. Make sure everything works by testing your website extensively. Test it all the way through, have friends and family test it. The more completely you test your site the more assured you are that your site will not turn away hard-earned customers.
When it comes down to the wire buying is ALWAYS an emotional process. Men will argue that they make logical decisions to buy, and we do. We research and we compare and we decide based on what is best for us, not on emotion; but in the end, at the last second it is emotion that makes us take the leap from shopping to buying. Look closely at the moment when you tell the salesman “Yes, I want a bigger TV” or the moment when you decide between skim milk and whole milk. You reach out and your hand hovers between the two. You have weighed the balance between $2.19 and $2.22, and you have thought of diet, shelf life, taste and buying local. If the marketing departments have done their job, the two products should come out even. At that point you make your decision to buy purely on emotion. You buy what feels right.
The point of this is to keep emotion in your website content. Tell your visitors all the details but remember to phrase them in an emotional way. When I buy a computer I want “500gb HDD” but if you want to sell me a computer you will remind me that it has “room to store all of my pictures and home movies”. I want a car that has a “5.0l V8” but remind me that this model “has power to get you safely through the snow and can easily pull your camping trailer”. Remember to use emotion to get me to buy the product I think I want to buy.
If you can get searchers to your website they become visitors. If you can get visitors to stay on your website long enough to see what you have to offer they become potential customers; and if your offer makes them want to buy from you, you have customers; and if you have customers, you have a successful website. Take each step in the process and make sure that the path from searching to finding what they need is as smooth as you can make it.